Friday, 13 January 2012

Patchwork Pin Cushion

With the amount of sewing that I do you'd think that I would have made a patchwork pin cushion a long time ago.  But somehow there was always something more pressing to make and you know what they say about the cobbler's children going barefoot ......

Anyway in one of my videos I had to fumble for my pins from a plastic box which I overturned and spread pins everywhere so several quilters suggested that I should use a pin cushion.  I looked around for ideas but I didn't want one that was so small that I wouldn't be able to put enough pins in it, so I decided to go for one based on a nine patch square.  It measures 5.1/2" across the diameter and about 1.1/2" high.

I used nine 2.1/2" squares each in a light fabric and a dark fabric.  I put them together as shown to make two nine patch squares with the colours reversed.  These nine patch units are 6.1/2" square which is just the right size for one of my side plates.  I drew round the plate and cut the squares (placed right sides together) into circles.

Sew round the edge of the circle leaving a gap about 5" long for turning the pin cushion right side out.  Backstitch at each end of the seam and turn the pin cushion right side out.

Push stuffing in through the gap.  You need the pin cushion to be quite firm to make it more easy to push the pins in.  I used ordinary kapok stuffing.  When you feel that you have filled the pin cushion, pin the gap and slipstitch it closed.

Sewing a button in the middle of both sides makes the pin cushion more stable and looks better.  Select two fairly large buttons.  This is the most difficult part of making the pin cushion:  use double thickness thread and a long needle.  Begin with a couple of stitches to secure the thread and then push the needle through the hole on the first button.  Push the needle down through the pin cushion to come out through one of the holes of the second button. 

The difficult bit is obviously trying to line up where the needle comes out so that it's in the right place to go through the button.  Continue stitching the buttons together (about half a dozen stitches should do), pulling the thread very tight each time.  That way you pull the buttons down so that they depress the middle of the pin cushion.  When you think the buttons are secure, finish off with a couple of stitches underneath the spread of one of the buttons.

I think that now I might need to buy some new pins to grace my new pin cushion!

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